RMAF 2012

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
Empirical Audio was showing their Overdrive SE DAC/Pre ($5,999) that features BNC S/PDIF, Async USB, and I2S inputs (24/192 for all inputs) and RCA and XLR outputs and you can drive an amp directly with its internal volume control. That said, an Arte Forma Pearl preamplifier ($1,800) was in use along with their 805 SE Monoblock Amplifiers ($4,000/pair) driving a pair of Vapor Audio Aurora speakers ($2,995/pair stands included).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
B.M.C. was showing their line of components including the BDCD1.1 Belt Drive CD Player/Transport, BMC DAC1 DAC/Preamp ($4,700) and BMC AMP M1 monoblock amplifiers ($7,900/pair) while using the Antipodes Music Server ($2,300 2TB, $2,500 4TB) with a SOtM mBPS-d2s Intelligent Battery Power Supply ($400). The Antipodes Music Server includes a drive for ripping your CDs, comes in black or silver, and offers USB output to your DAC of choice.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
Music Culture Technology was showing a complete system from their Elegance Line that consisted of the MC 501A CD/USB Dual Player ($3,995), the MC 701 Integrated Amplifier ($4,595), and RL21 Speakers ($3,495/pair).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
Stahl-Tek of Clute, Texas is a company that's new to me and they were showing their new Opus CDT CD Transport ($37,000), and Opus DAC ($35,000). The DAC's inputs include I2S via HDMI, S/PDIF (RCA and BNC), AES/EBU (XLR) and USB and there are single-ended and balanced outputs. The Opus DAC can handle up to 24-bit/192KHz data. Stahl-Tek also offers the Ariaa DAC ($12,900) and the Audiophile Bridge to Computer USB-S/PDIF converter (S3,500).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
That stealthy-black (and very difficult to photograph) slab is a prototype of MSBs new Analog DAC ($6,995 + $995 w/optional analog volume control which also adds a pair of analog RCA inputs). My timing was off with the Analog DAC's since every time I went in the room it was sitting silently on display. The inputs of the Analog DAC are modular and you can select from USB2, MSB ProI2S, standard AES/EBU and S/PDIF, RS232 and a MSB Network interface module that allows for firmware upgrades. The case is milled from a solid aluminum plate and next to where you see the illuminated volume level there's a flush-mounted rotary volume control and a push-button input selector. The Analog DAC can handle up to 32-bit/384kHz data as well as single and double rate DSD (64x and 128X DSD).
T+A
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
Also on silent display in the T+A/Dynaudio room was the diminutive T+A Cala multi-source UPnP/DLNA compact stereo receiver ($2,200) and matching CS Mini loudspeakers ($850 per pair). The Cala puts out 55 Watts into 4 Ohms and includes an FM tuner, a streaming client for Internet radio, network access (Ethernet and WLAN), and USB for flash drives and iOS devices plus a Bluetooth module. Supported file formats include MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, OGG-Vorbis, LPCM, WAV and the Cala can handle 24/192 music files.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
The Dynaudio XEO 3 ($2,300 per pair with transmitter and remote) and floor-standing Xeo 5 ($4,500 per pair with transmitter and remote) are powered wireless speakers that come with the XEO transmitter which includes an optical Toslink digital input, USB input, a stereo mini jack input, and a pair of RCA inputs. So you can connect your computer to the transmitter and send 16/48kHz data to the XEO speaker which keeps everything in the digital domain right up to the speakers output so there's no D/A conversion happening until the loudspeakers output hits air.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
The T+A DAC 8 ($2,900) was making its official debut at RMAF 2012. The DAC 8 is a 24-bit/384kHz capable DAC and its inputs include 4 RCA S/PDIF, 1 Toslink, 1 BNC, 1 AES/EBU, 1 Asynchronous USB, and for T+A system owners the "Control Link". Outputs include balanced and single-ended RCAs as well as RCA S/PDIF. The DAC 8 can also act as a preamp as it includes an analog volume control. There's also 4 digital and 2 analog filters so you can shape the sound to your liking and a front-mounted headphone jack. There's also a T+A app for iOS and Android devices.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
Sonus Veritas was showing a full stack of their electronics including the Modena Reference Class A Differential DAC ($15,999) that includes 4 inputs (2x S/PDIF, 1x Toslink, and 1x USB) and optionally adds AES/EBU and I2S to its transformer-coupled tube output stage. Also in use was the Sonus Veritas Genoa Preamplifier ($15,999) and KT120 based Class A differential tube monoblock Florence Power Amplifier ($TBD) driving a pair of ProAc Response D40R ($12,000–$14,000/pair).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
Bel Canto was hiding their new Asynchronous USB Link Converters the mLink ($375), uLink ($675), and REFLink ($1,495) and I say hiding because they're small, sit near your computer and take your computer's USB output (up to 24/192) and convert it into S/PDIF or LightLink ST Fiber the latter capable of running over 100 meters.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
The Resonessence Labs CONCERO ($599) made its official debute at RMAF 2012. The CONCERO is an interesting device that's more than a 24/192-capable bus-powered Asynchronous USB/S/PDIF DAC since it can also function as a USB to S/PDIF converter when connected to a power-only USB port. There's also a user-selectable IIR up-sampling filter or Apodizing upsampling filter that you engage with the included Apple remote. According to the guys at Resonessence Labs, the CONCERO "is the digital processing core of the INVICTA" which I reviewed and very much enjoyed (the INVICTA DAC is one of our Greatest Bits). From the few minutes I heard at RMAF, the CONCERO is one interesting prospect.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 16, 2012
Simaudio was streaming some great tunes from through their Moon 180 MiND (Moon Intelligent Network Device) ($1,250). The MiND is a UPnP Renderer and DLNA compatible so you can stream from a NAS or the internet and play back WAV, FLAC, AIF, AAC, ALAC, OGG, and MP3 file formats up to 24/192 and there are Ethernet, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Toslink and AES/EBU inputs. There's also a custom MiND remote app for iOS and Android devices that can control multiple MiND zones.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 15, 2012
Hey! I know you. The Vivaldi stack from dCS that recently had its debut in NYC at EARSNOVA was put to very good use in the dCS/VTL/Wilson/Transparent room. My recollection of the EARSNOVA systems' sound told me that it and this system sounded very different. And they should sound different seeing as we're talking about different associated equipment in a different room playing different music (not to mention the different me). Which raises the very real point that we're hearing all of these things when we listen to hi-fi even though our interest may only be in one piece of the puzzle.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2012
Ayre Acoustics wins flat out, hands down, slam dunk, by a country mile AudioStream's Coolest Room Award. In fact the Ayre room was so cool, I didn't even know Audiostream had a Coolest Room Award until I saw it. Decked out in the best of mod design right down to the orange ashtrays and martini server setup, the guys at Ayre created a room to dream and enjoy music within. Bra-freaking-vo! We need more real life in hi-fi, imo of course, and it was a real treat to hang out in the Ayre room and listen to Neil Young. I felt like a teenager again until that pain in my lower back started to act up...
Michael Lavorgna  |  Oct 14, 2012
highend-electronics, inc. was showing their MusicServer I ($995 includes monitor and all software licenses) that packs in 600GB of storage, 400GB of which is for your music files. The MusicServer I is based on a 64-bit Windows 7 platform and you can add external drives to up your storage capacity. The MusicServer I was sitting on top of a Synergistic Research Tranquility Base that our own Steve Plaskin recently reviewed and on top of the MusicServer I sat a vibration control device from Italy's Gregitek.

Pages

X